What to do if I suspect the presence of a Meth Lab in a recently purchased houseDecember 19, 2016
Have you purchased a property recently or are in the processing of purchasing a property? Is something off about it? Do you believe that the home could have been a meth lab? Some signs that your home was used as a meth lab are its physical appearance. Was the house sold “as is” or a “fixer upper”? Did you notice strange smells or feel ill (nauseous, headaches) when you are inside the house – these are signs that could mean your property was used as a meth lab and action should be taken immediately.
There are a few ways you can go about figuring out if your house was used as a meth lab. First, ask the real estate agent if anything was discovered in the home. You can also as the neighbors about the history of the home: who lived there last? Who lived there before them? Was there illegal activity in the home? Beyond that, alerting the local police that you believe your property was used to make illegal drugs may yield you answers. They will have a history of anything reported on the property or any methamphetamine busts and will be able to disclose that to you. If those routes yield no answers you may also check out the DEA’s website. DEA.gov has a “Methamphetamine Lab Incidents” map where you can select your state and city. From there it is possible to find out if the property you purchased was ever reported or linked with meth or meth lab use. The key with this option is that it requires a record of the meth lab. Many meth labs are not reported or documented which can put you at risk, so other paths may need to be pursued.
If none of those options provide you with answers, have a professional test the property. Having a professional decontamination company test your home will ensure the safety of you and your family. Professional testing will offer you a firm answer and rest your fears that your home was used as a meth lab. The testing will only take a few days and from there you can proceed. If the test come back that your property is contaminated, it is essential that you remove yourself and your family from the home immediately as to avoid health risks. Contacting a professional cleanup/decontamination company to clean the mess would be the next step.
Though cleanup may something be costly, it is imperative to your health. Contacting your insurance company is a good next step, they may help cover costs. Furthermore, you may need to take legal action. If you find that the meth contamination was known by the seller of the home prior to your purchase and was not disclosed, you may pursue them for the costs of cleanup. Once the mess is cleaned, it is up to the department of health to clear your home as habitable again.